The European Union Intellectual Property Office (the office formerly known as OHIM) has released a fascinating new image searching system for trademarks. You can upload an image and the system will look for similar images, based upon some sort of AI (artificial intelligence) algorithm. I decided to try it out. I uploaded the familiar image that you see at right. Here is a small portion of what the system found:
The system found these images and many more. (Click on the image to make it bigger.) By the way, who wants to win a prize? The first person to post a comment naming the man in this image will win a nice pocket-sized digital voltmeter.
I am pretty sure that I would never have been able to find any of these images using the traditional design codes in the trademark database.
Emboldened by this result from the search system, I tried again. I uploaded the familiar Firefox icon. The search system somehow worked out that the creature in the icon was a fox, and found another icon that was a circle with a head of a fox.
Again I am quite sure I would never have found this icon myself using the old-fashioned design search codes of the database.
To try out the system, click here.
Alex notes an entertaining TechCrunch article about the search system.